By MARK EVANS
STE. GENEVIEVE HERALD
Just as installation of their new 300,000-gallon water tower was about to begin, the Bloomsdale Board of Aldermen voted to pursue funding that could pay for the bulk of the city’s massive water project.
At the June 14 meeting, the board voted to authorize Mayor Paul Monia to seek $1.4 million in federal American Relief Plan Act (ARPA) funding, with an agreement to match up to 21 percent of the figure.
The massive water project, which includes removing the old standpipe, installing the large new water tank and replacing aging water mains all over town, is more than a $2 million project, when all miscellaneous fees and costs are factored in.
The board had spoken to Justin Dotson of Bloomsdale Bank about getting financing for the project. They had agreed that a lease-purchase deal would be better than a traditional loan. At the May 10 meeting, they had voted to go into a 10-year lease-purchase agreement with Bloomsdale Bank for up to $2,243,000.
City Clerk Lynnette Randoll, who ran the June 14 meeting in the absence of both Monia and Alderwoman Monica Rozier, reported that Dotson had told her he had secured verbal approval of the lease purchase arrangement.
Obviously, if the ARPA money comes through, less of the $2.2 million would be needed from the bank.
T.J. Garbs of Cochran Engineering told the board that the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has released some money for ARPA funding. He said Bloomsdale should be in a very good position to get a grant.
“You have to have a water report with in the last three years, which you have,” he said. “You have to have a project in that report identified.”
He said a “perfect” one to identify is the Highway 61mainline replacement, putting in eight-inch pipe and replacing aging transite pipes.
Garbs suggested applying for $1.4 million. He also explained the point system used in competing for the grant money.
“If you do a 10-percentcost share, you get a certain number of points,” he said. “If you do a 20-percentcost share, you get more points because you’re putting in more money.”
He said that only applies up to 20 percent. However, a higher figure can essentially serve as a tie-breaker between clients.
“If, say, another city s neck and neck with you and it’s between you two, and you put in like 21 percent and they only put 20 percent, you would probably be favored. It’s a competition, is what it is.”
Bloomsdale has other advantages, Garbs noted.
“You being a small city helps you guys out a lot,” he said. “You guys don’t get too much funding, from what it sounds like.”
The application is due July 14. Garbs feels that the city already having outlined what it wants to do in the water main project, has a big advantage over most of its competitors.
“You are setup very well to do this,” Garbs told them. “You guys are set up way better than most cities because they don’t have a project. You guys are way ahead of the game.”
He also feels that the project itself is just what the DNR has in mind for the funds.
“You guys have a perfect project for it, too,” he said. “It’s exactly what they’re looking for.”
The board immediately voted to pursue the funding and to offer a 21 percent match.